This summer Micaela Wallace and Asleigh Kaliszuk will travel across Canada and meet women riders from the West Coast to the Maritimes. While on the road, their journey will showcase an honest demographic of what our nation has to offer. It’s going to be quite an exciting adventure. Since the launch of their project Women of Moto on May 9th, they have been getting invites to go to meet-ups and events all over the country. Chances are we will meet them on the road, but until then, lets talk about Women of Moto. [Version française]
What is your project exactly?
Our project is about women empowerment. We want to show how even in current day we as women are still facing obstacles with gender stereotyping. Women of Moto is here to show how women who ride motorcycles are breaking those stereotypes and stepping outside of what is still considered a societal norm by more of the population than some would like to admit.
What are your inspirations for the project?
Ashleigh : Our inspiration for the project is our own experiences with gender stereotypes. I worked for over 7 years in industrial construction which is obviously a male dominated sector. I’ve heard it all from « you belong in the kitchen » to full blown sexual harassment. It’s disgusting that people think they can treat others like that simply because they’re the only woman on site. I eventually left construction; and a year and a half later launched Women of Moto.
Micaela: I work in business development management in the engineering sector, which is heavily male dominated. I have had to fight very hard for the « good old boys » to take me seriously. This has helped me learn to push through gender stereotypes and ultimately inspired me to launch Women of Moto with Ashleigh.
Tell me about the team behind Women of Moto.
We met through a group of women who ride locally and we got along right away! We often hung out, talked about potential future plans but nothing really transpired at that point. We knew right away that we were the perfect mix to do something in the moto community; Ashleigh with her photography and Micaela with her business development background. After some personal hardships, we got together knowing we wanted to do something, and Women of Moto was born. We spent the winter writing a project plan, working on branding and reaching out to sponsors for support – and here we are!
Several events are planned across Canada, can you give us more details?
Women who ride from across Canada have reached out to us since we launched on May 9th and we are working with them to initiate meet-ups and/or rides along our tour. We will announce details as they become available.
June 9 and 11 will be held the first women’s gathering in Quebec, Mamzelle Ride & Ramble, will you be present?
That sounds amazing and is certainly something we would be interested in. We will confirm dates on our tour shortly and appreciate the invite! We are really feeling the love and are so grateful for that!!
Female events are very popular right now. Why do you think?
Ashleigh : We love this! I went to Babes Ride Out last year and it was an amazing experience.
We think these events are so popular because they provide a common ground for like-minded women to meet each other, support each other, bond, and make lifelong connections, all while riding motorcycles. It’s all about that love!
This year we plan on attending The Back Road Ball, The Dreamroll and Babes Ride Out. We love events where it’s women supporting women in an upbeat, positive environment.
More and more women are riding. What motivates a woman to ride a motorcycle?
I think a major aspect of the growing numbers is the normality of seeing women riders on social media. There are so many relatable women from all age groups and demographics with motorcycles.
One common thread I have also noticed about women who ride is that many of us (us included) go through something negative in our lives and when we build ourselves up again and find self love and freedom we celebrate by finally going after our dreams of getting a bike.
Name two women from the motorcycle scene that inspires you currently.
Ashleigh : That’s a tough one! There are so many amazing women out there I honestly couldn’t reduce it to just two! This entire community of women riders are what inspire me!
Micaela : For me personally, there are two women from the moto community that really stand out; Karen Mayberry from Harley Davidson Canada, and Becky Goebel from Them Road Apples, The Dream Roll, Loserpalooza. Both of these women are inspirations because they are girl boss’ who have found a way to incorporate their passion for motorcycles in to their careers. Badass, right?